The Pentlands

Ivor and I headed in to the Pentlands today to try and keep some hill miles in the legs. Starting from Harlaw we took in Harbour Hill, Capelaw and Allermuir. This also gave me the opportunity to pick up a large bag of rubbish I’d seen behind a wall during last week’s navigation course, but hadn’t the rucksack capacity to carry out at the time. Not as sunny today as forecast, however there were good views with cloud below us in the Forth valley.

Looking towards Corstorphine Hill and the Lomonds with cloud along the line of the Forth.
The view towards The Kips.
Edinburgh and Arthur’s Seat from Allermuir.

Blackford Quarry

After training with Ivor at Ratho on Monday we decided to make the most of a sunny November day and headed to Blackford Quarry today. It was cool in the breeze this morning, but all the routes were dry. It’s effectively an inner city venue, so be careful of broken glass on holds.

Ivor top roping on the main slab, which has nice climbing but with friable holds and minimal gear.
Ivor leading on the Little Slab.

Navigation Course

The last two days I’ve been delivering a navigation course for a small group from The Ramblers for Falkirk Outdoors. The course was delivered completely outdoors within the City of Edinburgh Council area. On Thursday we used the Dalmeny and Cammo areas. On Friday we started from Harlaw and used the west side of Harbour Hill and around Capelaw to get on to some unpathed terrain. Thanks to the group who were enthusiastic throughout, which made for a great course.

Some great pathless terrain for working on bearings, pacing and contour recognition on the west side of Harbour Hill.
One of the highlights today was this great view of a common lizard in the Pentlands.

EICA Ratho

On Friday and Monday I was in training at EICA Ratho. Really good to get some mileage in the arms.

Nettle warming down.
Ivor working a harder route.
Me figuring out the next move. Photo credit: J. Foden.

Lowland Leader Training

Over the weekend Craig and I were delivering a Lowland Leader Training Course for Falkirk Outdoors. It’s the first I’ve delivered with the current restrictions/guidelines and definitely makes you think hard about your teaching methods, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Thanks to all the participants for their enthusiasm over what at times was a cold and wet two days delivered completely outside.

Course Introduction. Photo credit: Craig McClaren.
Teaching navigation.
Photo credit: Craig McClaren.
Discussing access legislation variations across the UK and Ireland.
Photo credit: Craig McClaren.
A good variety of forestry, farmland, heath and semi urban terrains at the course venues.
Photo credit: Craig McClaren.

Hound Point

Pamela and I met for some local bouldering at Hound Point on Friday. It’s not extensive, but with a bit of imagination can provide some fun problems in a pleasant setting. The landings on the main area are generally flat and sandy, but it’s worth having something to get the sand off your shoes before starting a problem. Unfortunately, it’s also worth watching out for broken glass on holds and particularly the top. Wilf.

Pamela bouldering at Hound Point.
Me making a long reach.

Not a bad view.